WATERLOO – A Waterloo woman has been sentenced to three years and one month in prison in connection with the opioid death of her cousin.

After 39-year-old Marvita Roxanna Causey is finished with her time behind bars, she will be on supervised probation for three years. Causey pleaded guilty to federal charges of distribution of controlled substances.

Authorities allege she provided what she thought was heroin to her cousin, 52-year-old Timothy Young, and his girlfriend Oct. 25, 2017. Young was found dead at his West Mullan Avenue apartment the following morning, and a medical examiner determined he died of a mixture of heroin and fentanyl, according to court records.

The defense asked the court for leniency because of Causey’s troubled upbringing in Chicago, which included abuse, a father who sold drugs and her being shot when she was 10 years old at her mother’s house, which was targeted because of her mother’s drug involvement, according to court records.

Causey’s attorney said she is remorseful over what happened.

“Ms. Causey has to live with the repercussions of her actions for the rest of her life. She loved her cousin very much. The most difficult thing about this case is that she will never see her beloved cousin again. Ms. Causey is not a drug dealer. She was a drug user, who got drugs for her cousin because he, and (Young’s girlfriend) asked her to,” defense attorney Melanie Keiper wrote in a sentencing memo.

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Court records detail what happened in the days leading up to Young’s death.

Young and his girlfriend had checked into a hospital mental health unit days earlier in an attempt to avoid a debt they owed to a drug dealer, records state. After they left, Young repeatedly asked Causey for help finding heroin and cocaine, and she allegedly gave him contact information for another dealer, records state.

On Oct. 25, 2017, Causey fielded about two dozen calls from the couple including a 5:26 p.m. text message stating, “I need some cane and H,” records state. Causey allegedly bought two small bags of heroin from the dealer sometime after 9:15 p.m. and took them to the West Mullan Avenue apartment.

Young and the girlfriend snorted the drugs using a rolled up dollar bill, records state, and the girlfriend fell asleep. Around midnight, a roommate who also lived at the apartment noticed a burning odor and came downstairs to turn off the stove. He saw Young on the dining room floor but didn’t check on him, records state.

The girlfriend woke up in the morning and called 911 at about 8 a.m. after finding Young unresponsive, records state.

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Police and Courts Reporter

Cops and courts reporter for the Courier

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